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TMS fanfic: Masks

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Fan Art' started by Slackbot, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Here I go again, ready or not! Here's a story that takes place after Muppets from Earth, and is called...


    Masks, Part 1:
    In the Arches
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    Kermit the Frog bounced onstage, in front of the Muppet Show logo, and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, it's the Muppet show, with our very special guest star!" He waved his arms and cheered, then hopped to the top of the logo, which rose and disappeared into the flyspace. The familiar theme song played as the curtains opened, revealing a set of arches. Thog, Timmy, Sweetums, Fletcher Bird, and Bobo strutted onstage and through the lowest row of arches, then struck a pose. A set of female Muppets came in from the right wings into the next row of arches, singing,
    "It's time to play the music,
    It's time to light the lights!
    It's time to meet the Muppets
    On the Muppet Show tonight."
    From the left wings, a set of male Muppets came onstage, singing,
    "It's time to put on makeup,
    It's time to dress up right
    It's time to get things started-"
    Kermit, sitting in the middle of one row of arches, sang,
    "It's time to get things started-"
    Then everyone sang,
    "It's time to get things started
    On the most sensational, inspiration,
    Celebrational, Muppetational,
    This is what we call The Muppet show!"
    The logo lowered again, with Gonzo in the center of the O. He drew in a breath and blew, and the sound of a gong rang out. He reeled backward as if stunned by the noise.

    Kermit looked over to his left. "How'd that look?"

    Scooter, who was sitting at a bank of monitors just offstage, said, "Looked great, Chief."

    Scooter was surrounded by a gaggle of other Muppets, who were peering curiously at the new technology. Each monitor was hooked to a camera inconspicuously attached to the underside of the balcony, the box seats, and various other locations so they could film the stage from all angles. A tech could control the cameras from here, but it looked to Scooter as if, in most cases, they could just set 'em and forget 'em.

    A different set of Muppets took their marks in the upper arches. Beauregard, wearing a purple tuxedo, ambled onstage and said, "Muppet Show intro, scene 3B." He held a clapboard up, snapped it on his fingers, winced, and walked offstage. The music playback began again, and the Muppets onstage sang,
    "On the most sensational, inspiration,
    Celebrational, Muppetational,
    This is what we call The Muppet show!"
    Kermit pushed his way through the crowd backstage, barely avoiding stepping on a cluster of furry, multicolored, spherical creatures, and asked, "How was that?"

    "I'd say it's a keeper." Scooter pressed some buttons, and the second sequence played back from several angles.

    "Oh, good. Let's keep going," Kermit said, and crossed the stage, where a third set of Muppets was assembling. They would do enough takes to fit everyone in, and then composite them together.

    Some of the more experienced Muppets were hanging out backstage right, which for once was the less busy area. Miss Piggy, dressed in a strapless dress with matching gloves, looked as if she wanted to say something to Kermit, but instead just grabbed him up in a rib-creaking hug. He had barely the breath to squawk. Dr. Teeth, up in the balcony, grinned, as was his wont. Gonzo noticed, but did not comment on what was, after all, a fairly typical scene. Fozzie did not notice because he was busy pitching ideas at Gonzo. "It'd be really funny to have something come out of it."

    "Like what? We've already done smoke, a bee, an airplane, my teeth, and other stuff."

    "How about a cream pie?"

    "How would that fit in the trumpet?"

    "The same way the plane did. Or maybe have it come at you instead, you know. Er, if you don't mind. Um, I mean, pies are funny."

    Gonzo thought about that. "A pie to the face? Gotta admit, nobody'd see that coming."

    Camilla, who was wearing the chicken equivalent of an evening dress, her costume for her stint in the arches, clucked, It's always pies with him.

    Gonzo answered in English, "But with me it'd be different."

    Billie, who was about to celebrate her first birthday, started forward. She was deep into the toddler stage, and wanted to wander everywhere and get into everything. Camilla quickly put her wings around the chick, who squeaked indignantly. She was tired of being fenced in. Without pausing the conversation Gonzo picked his daughter up. She stopped complaining—if she couldn't have adventure, attention would do—and began playing with the flower in his buttonhole.

    "How about a cannonball? Have you shot a cannonball out your trumpet? You could do it the same way you did the plane and other stuff."

    Startled, Gonzo said, "I can't believe I've never thought of that."

    **

    A few hours later, the day's shooting was finished. They had shot all but the episode-specific parts of the opening and closing segments, in the process testing out the new camera setup. Now Kermit called everyone into the theater house. They filled the lower seating area. Kermit sat informally on the edge of the orchestra pit. For once he did not have to shout for attention; everyone was eager to hear him. He said, "Everything looked great. We've gotten all the footage we can today; the rest will be shot show-by-show.

    "The deal is inked. We'll be filming for TV during our regular shows. It won't be much different from before. We'll just use the best parts for TV."

    Rowlf called out, "What do you mean by 'best'?"

    Kermit answered, "Most entertaining, of course."

    "Thought so," the dog said, grinning.

    "There will be one significant change in the schedule," Kermit continued. "We'll be performing Fridays through Mondays as before, and rehearsing on Tuesdays through Thursdays. However, the show will only run Friday through Sunday. On Mondays we'll film backstage bits and anything else that doesn't fit in the stage show."

    There was some muttering, but this was no surprise. Kermit waited it out, then said, "I want to thank everyone for sticking with the show. Some of you have been with me since the beginning, and we've picked up the rest of you over the years. I don't say it enough—thanks, everybody. You're all like family to me, and I think you're the greatest folks I've known in my life!"

    Rowlf replied, "We're just about all the folks you've known in your life!"

    That wasn't true—Kermit had thousands of brothers, sisters, and other family members back in the swamp—but it was worth a laugh.

    Kermit said, "The show will open in two weeks. We've got the acts for that one planned, and enough for a bunch more shows, but we need more. Lots more. And it doesn't matter if they're too silly or short for the stage show. We can still film things on the fourth day for the TV version. We're also booking guest stars. And this time some of them actually want to be on the show!

    "So, last word and then I'll shut up. It's gonna be great, so let's do what we do best: just dive in and have a ball!"

    The cheers and applause knocked Kermit backward into the orchestra pit.

    *****

    All characters except Billie are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Billie is copyright© Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com), as is the overall story. Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
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  2. The Count Moderator

    *Likes how the Muppets create the illusion that the show's still going on or starting a new run with the various technological tricks of the trade added into the mix.
    Also... Nice nod to the classic intro with the chorus girls (named in Kermie's Girl) and the chorus monsters who end up being their partners.

    Love Billie's attitude... She wants to get away from her mother hen's smothering and explore everything. The touch of her scooped up onto her dad's shoulder made me smile at old self-memories.

    More please? :search:
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  3. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Next part coming up fairly soon. I spent about a week revising & rewriting the outline because one idea occurred to me that crystallized the whole theme, which is good in that it'll make the whole story stronger, but it did slow things down. (It might tick some people off too; we'll see as the story unfolds.)

    I'm drawing on memories of my niece and nephew for Billie. My nephew went into a stage that lasted for several years in which he was nicknamed "Destructo-Baby." I doubt Billie will ever get that bored, though, considering the household she's growing up in.

    Does Scooter have a generally fan-accepted last name? "Grosse" occurred to me off the top of my head, but that's a fairly icky name for such a nice young man.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  4. The Count Moderator

    Well, yeah... We've sorta accepted it as Scooter Grosse or Scooter Hunt Grosse thanks to ReneeLouvier's Sadie's Stories.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  5. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Hmm. I guess if I have to use a last name it'll probably be Grosse. Oh well, by the time I'm through with him he'll have more on his mind than a sucky last name.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  6. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Masks, Part 2:
    Go-Fer
    by Kim McFarland


    *****

    It was a warm and sunny day. It was a perfect day for being outside, picnicking, tossing a frisbee around, jogging, puttering in a garden, sunbathing, or any of dozens of other outdoor activities.

    Unfortunately, Scooter was doing none of those things. The Muppet Show was about to go into production, and he was booking guest stars. The problem was not getting people; there were plenty of folks who wanted to be on the show. He and Kermit had winnowed the first batch and come up with a good, varied list of first-string stars from all areas of the media. The problem was scheduling. The TV deal had been finalized only a week before, and hardly anyone was available on such short notice, or so their agents said.

    Scooter was worried. He'd been at it all day and had reached the end of the A-string list without a single nibble. Kermit was at the theater, and he had his own task load to manage, so Scooter looked through the second list, considering how likely it was that each one would be available. He made tick marks by several names, then picked up the phone for the next round.

    Several phone calls later, Scooter was getting discouraged. He dialed another number and waited for an agent to pick up. "Hello, I'm Scooter Grosse with The Muppet Show. I'd like to speak to Mr. Hess's agent." After a pause, his eyes widened. "Mr. Hess? Oh, hi! No agent? That's fine, I don't have one either. I have you on a list of people interested in being on The Muppet Show. We've got an opening for the very first show, and you're the very first person I thought of. Can you come down next week? We're filming Friday through Monday." Pause. "Yes, seriously. We'll use a few of your songs, and the scripted bits will be simple. You can memorize them in minutes—though, I'll be honest, sometimes I think scripts are optional with this show." He laughed, then listened. "Great! I'll make the arrangements and call you back today!"

    *

    Later that day Scooter showed up at the theater and sought Kermit out. Kermit knew that Scooter had been wrestling with a tough task, and, noting his cheerful expression, asked hopefully, "Did you get a guest for next week?"

    "Yep. I booked MC Frontalot. He's a hiphop rapper. Thought you'd like that."

    "Hiphop. I get it. I've never heard of him, though."

    Scooter feigned surprise. "Really? He's the world's 579th greatest rapper, or so his website says. He's really talented, really funny, and really the only one I could get for next week."

    "Well, that's not what I was expecting, but great work, Scooter. Er... he will be suitable for the show, won't he?"

    "Of course. I wouldn't book someone we'd have to bleep out," Scooter said while making a mental note to go over the lyrics of the songs they decided to use.

    "Great. Thanks, Scooter." Kermit started to turn back to his own desk, which was piled high with paperwork, messages, other matters to be dealt with, and used sandwich plates and coffee mugs.

    "One other thing, Boss-"

    "Hmm?"

    Scooter began, "I understand the camera setup, and I could do an okay job with it, but I can't do that and be stage manager at the same time."

    Kermit nodded. They both knew that Scooter was critical as a stage manager; it wasn't a job that just anyone could do, particularly with this troupe. In fact, he was amazed that anyone was equal to the task. And, though the camera bank would record the action from many angles, static shots were boring. There was no substitute for a live cameraman—or woman, or creature, or whatever. "I don't know who I'd want running the cameras," he said.

    "I had a thought about that too," Scooter said.

    "Do tell."

    "You know I'm taking theater arts at the college. I have a friend who's studying the tech stuff, and I bet he could do the job."

    "Imagine that. Does he know anything about The Muppet Show? What we're like, as opposed to normal theater?"

    "Sure! He's seen it a few times, but he's never met any of us besides me. He's a little shy. I've seen him film college productions, though. He's pretty good. He's in his senior year and all his classes are in the afternoon, so his evenings are clear. And he could get course credit for this job, since it's practical experience in his field of study. Sounds like a perfect match, huh?"

    Scooter sure had thought this out, Kermit noted. "Well, bring him by next week and have him film some of the rehearsals."

    "Will do!" Scooter scampered off.

    Kermit turned back to his desk. To think that Scooter had originally been an annoying kid foisted on him by his uncle, who just happened to own the theater. Scooter had quickly found his niche, and by now he was indispensable. So much for what they said about first impressions, he thought.

    *

    Kermit had just had enough time to go through the myriad minutia that he had to deal with to get the show going—including in no small part the bills—when an enthusiastic, raspy voice said, "Kermit, I got some great ideas for ya!"

    "Oh, really," Kermit said, looking up at Gonzo.

    "Yeah! This'll really make 'em sit up and stare. It's a musical tribute to Eraserhead-"

    Kermit held up his hands, cutting him short. "Whoa, whoa, Gonzo. Look, see all this on my desk? I've had a long day and it's nowhere near over. Do me a favor today and don't throw a bunch of dumb ideas at me. Just tell me about the act you really want to do."

    Taken aback, Gonzo said, "Er... okay. Long story short, bungee cannon act."

    "Bungee cannon?" Kermit repeated.

    Seeing he had Kermit's interest, or at least perplexity, Gonzo said, "Yeah. Simple in concept, dynamic, and it won't damage the property. Plus, think of the 3-D effect! It's cutting edge!"

    "You want to fire yourself out of a cannon while attached to bungee cords?" Kermit said in disbelief.

    "Yeah!"

    "Won't that ram you back into the cannon, or pull the cannon off the stage?"

    Gonzo shook his head. "Nah, the cords won't be attached to the cannon. They'll be attached to the net behind the cannon. I'll go out above the audience, and before I hit the back wall they'll pull me back into the net."

    "Which will be attached to the stage."

    "Well, yeah, otherwise the net would fly out into the audience too. That'd be cool, but the insurance wouldn't cover it."

    "You've been reading the insurance policy?" Kermit asked, surprised. "I thought you never paid attention to that."

    "You kidding? Sometimes I get ideas by figuring out what it'll let me get away with! Anyhow, what do you say? It's safer than it looks because I can't possibly go off course, and it'll look really cool."

    Kermit had his doubts concerning Gonzo's notion of safety, but this one really did seem to be well thought out. "Okay, Gonzo. When will it be ready?"

    "I'm ready for the first show. Test fired it last night. I just need to make a bit of scenery."

    "All right, I'll put you in."

    "Great! Thanks, Kermit."

    "And, uh, sorry I snapped at you, Gonzo. I've just been, er, a little frazzled lately."

    Gonzo shrugged. "It's all right. It'll save me time thinking up dumb ideas."

    "Oh, good. Say... what would you do if I okayed one of the dumb ideas?"

    Gonzo grinned. "I'd yodel while riding a motorized pogo stick."

    Kermit chuckled. "Figures. One thing, Gonzo—don't do too many cannon acts. You don't want to look like a one-trick pony."

    "Yeah, I know. I've been researching some new ideas for my stunts. Stuff you won't believe!"

    "Like what?"

    Gonzo looked around dramatically, then leaned forward and said in a low voice, "In a word: electroplating."

    Kermit stared, dumbfounded, at Gonzo. Gonzo said, "See, I told you you wouldn't believe it!"

    "You're right, I don't."

    "Just wait'll I show you!"

    Gonzo went off happily, and Kermit turned back to his desk. What was Gonzo planning to do, bronze himself? Kermit knew better than to even guess. Resting his head in his hand, he muttered under his breath, "Sheesh."

    *****

    All characters except Damian Hess are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC. Damian Hess, AKA MC Frontalot, is a real person and thus would be copyright © himself. His website is http://frontalot.com/ and you should totally visit it. All copyrighted properties (and real people) are used without permission but with much respect and affection. The overall story is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
    muppetfan24/7 and GopherCoffee like this.
  7. The Count Moderator

    Heh... Good depiction of how the gang goes about booking a show's main guest star. Lots of little things that made me small-laugh. Thanks for posting this. More please.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  8. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Glad you liked it. This story's starting off small, but it'll get up to speed soon. You can think of these chapters as prologue material.

    Has anyone here besides me has heard of MC Frontalot? His movie, Nerdcore Rising, is pretty nifty. And I'm not just saying that 'cause I make a cameo in it.
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  9. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Slowly but slowly we're getting to the actual story...

    Masks, Part 3:
    Setting the Tone
    by Kim McFarland
    *****

    It had been a busy day backstage at the Muppet Theater, and it was going to get much busier. Today was the first day of their new show, which would be filmed for broadcast. As they would be performing the same show Friday through Sunday, they would have three shows on tape, so they could choose between the best acts to compile into a television episode.

    Backstage, everyone was getting ready. The Muppets were comfortable with television and movies; the cameras didn't distract them, especially as they were camouflaged so as not to distract the theater audience. The only person who was intimidated was Janken, the new camera operator. He was a smallish, lavender-skinned creature with a dark purple puff of feathery hair, fur just slightly lighter covering his body, and a long, mouselike tail tipped with another brush of purple. With looks like that, he fit right in.

    "You did fine during the rehearsals," Scooter told him as they stayed out of the way of fast-moving props and scenery backstage left. "Just keep it up. And always be ready for ad-libs. You'll soon get a feel for who's likely to go off script. Stay with it when that happens—some of our best bits have been ad-libs. Or goofs."

    "Yeah," Janken replied. "It's just nerves. I still can't believe I'm working on The Muppet Show!"

    "You'll believe it when they draft you into a skit," Scooter replied teasingly.

    "No thanks. I'm happy back here."

    "It takes all kinds," Scooter replied. He waited until Janken turned back to the control panel, then mussed Janken's hair. Janken yiped and swatted at him, but by that time Scooter had darted away, laughing.

    Janken was a little surprised at how friendly everyone here was. They accepted him into the fold right off the bat. It didn't hurt that Scooter had given him tips on how to get along with certain people. Smile at Fozzie's jokes. Don't worry about Gonzo; whatever he's doing, it's probably normal for him. When Miss Piggy speaks, give her your full attention, or at least be darn sure she thinks that's what you're doing, and never speak French to her. And so on. At first it sounded fake, but when he saw Scooter in action he realized that it was just the best way to get along with everyone.

    He had turned back to the bank and was practicing maneuvering one of the side cameras—he'd have to be fast with them for Gonzo's act—when he was startled by the sound of Miss Piggy's voice. "Hello, dear. Moi has a few teensy suggestions for vous."

    He turned in his seat. "Sure, Miss Piggy," he said.

    She laid a gloved hand on his shoulder. "This may be the first time you have worked with as big a star as moi, but do not be intimidated. We are all one big, happy family." She glanced back as Gonzo's cannon, pushed by Sweetums, rumbled heavily past. "With a few redheaded stepchildren," she added under her breath.

    She remembered what she was there for, and continued, "Now, dear, there should be a camera following me at all times. After all, moi's publique will want to see my face. The one front and center will do."

    Janken said, "Actually, Miss Piggy, I'll be following you with three cameras, one at the center and one on each side. That way, when you turn you won't necessarily turn away from the cameras."

    "Oh, what a perfectly brilliant idea! Moi is sure you'll do very well here," she said, and gave him a hug from behind.

    "Thanks, I'll do my best," he said, his voice a little strained from shortness of breath.

    She released him and swept off toward Wardrobe. As he caught his breath he thought, most of the Muppets were different outside offstage. They dropped their masks. Miss Piggy, however, never seemed to step outside her stage persona. It was, he thought, as if her mask was glued on.

    *

    Kermit saw Scooter crossing to backstage right, and waved him down. "Where's the final script?"

    "The master copy's been printed out," Scooter answered.

    "I mean, where are everyone's copies?"

    "We'll have it those soon. The copier repairman is due any minute," Scooter replied.

    "The copier repairman?"

    "Yeah. The copier's been on the fritz all week. I wrote you a note about that."

    They both looked at the pile of paper on Kermit's desk. "Yeah," Kermit said.

    "Don't worry. We'll get it fixed," Scooter told him.

    Kermit shook his head. "I hope so. If we don't we won't have the foggiest idea what we're doing."

    Scooter and Kermit exchanged glances. After a beat Kermit said, "You know what I mean."

    *

    Pops glanced up when the backstage door opened. A thin, bald man wearing thick glasses, a tie, and a pocket protector full of pens entered and looked around. Before Pops could speak Sam the Eagle intercepted him. "It's about time you got here! We have been waiting all day!"

    The man said, "Sorry, I had a really hard time getting here."

    "Bad traffic?" Pops said sympathetically.

    "There weren't any cabs around, and I'm out of practice hitchhiking."

    "Well, come with me," Sam said sternly. He guided the man to a superannuated photocopier, which looked as if it recently had suffered many indignities. It was leaking threads of smoke from somewhere within. A panel opened on the side and a half-dozen rats scurried out.

    Rizzo looked up and told them, "We've been in there all day, but it's still not working."

    "We cleared out a paper jam, though," another rat said.

    "It's toasty warm in there. If you can't fix it, we can keep it as a condo," said a third.

    "Shoo! Scat! We need to copy the script!" Sam said, waving the rats away.

    "You haven't gotten the script copied yet?" the man asked.

    "You see what we have to work with!" Sam griped. "Weirdos and vermin, all of them. I don't know why we even bothered with a script for this week's show, though."

    "Why's that?" asked the man, who was cleaning a rat's nest out of the paper tray.

    "This week's guest, sir! Of all things, he is a rapper! I can hardly believe the depths to which we have sunk. To think that once upon a time our stage was graced by such titans of the opera as Rudolf Nureyev, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and Rich Little! And now we are debasing ourselves with this... this hippety-hop hooligan!"

    "Could you move a little?" asked the man, who was trying to open the panel behind Sam.

    "Hmm?'" The eagle glanced back, then stepped away from the machine. The man pulled the panel open, then jumped back. Sam was not so alert, and thus was on the receiving end of the cloud of black toner that billowed out. When the air cleared again his blue feathers were blackened on the side closest to the machine.

    Scooter came over and said to the bespectacled man, "Oh, you're here! Have you gotten your script yet?"

    Sam, who had not moved a feather, said, "Why would this person need a script?"

    "He's our guest star." Scooter looked Sam up and down and said, "Guess the copier's still having problems, huh?"

    Sam stared at the man, then lowered his head and covered his eyes with one hand in an attitude of despair.

    Scooter led MC Frontalot away, saying, "This isn't a big problem. I've got some draft scripts. They'll be close enough, and your main parts are your songs anyway. Let me show you to your dressing room. I've got some waivers for you to sign too."

    *

    Eventually Sam removed his hand from his face, revealing a black smear across his beak. He looked down at himself, then walked away from the copier, saying through a gritted beak, "Makeup!"

    *****

    All characters except Damian Hess are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC. MC Frontalot is a real person and thus would be copyright © himself. His website is http://frontalot.com/ and you should totally visit it. All copyrighted properties (and real people) are used without permission but with much respect and affection. The overall story is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
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  10. The Count Moderator

    Ah... The infamous "yes, we have a title!" moment finally makes its presence known.
    That's a joke from the MST3K episode featuring the movie I Accuse My Parents, which I use in almost every single movie or TV show I watch.

    You've rully captured Piggy's persona perfectly (try saying that five times fast), shmoozing poor Janken to make sure her superstar centerstar ego's kept contented.

    Sam thinking Rich Little as a dignified opera star... And his reaction at finding out who their guest star rully is... Classic.
    More please?

    BTW: Another DW question, would you consider Paddywhack from The Haunting of Mr. Banana Brain to be a poltergeist? If not, then what would you suggest to help visualize what a poltergeist's physical form should be like?
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  11. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I'm quite familiar with that MST3K episode. I'm an old MST3K fan myself. Hmm, how about a fic titled "I Accuse My Puppeteer"? (That would actually be relevant to this story, but I'm getting ahead of myself...)

    I'm glad that Piggy sounds like herself. She's not the easiest character to write for. I keep wanting to throttle back on the staginess, but, dang it, she is stagey.

    More fic is on the way. Prepare for Gonzo's snappy comeback, a Wagnerian rap, and some bunny abuse.

    As for Paddywhack, I suppose you could call him a poltergeist--or, since he is a duck, a poultrygeist. I thought of him as an evil spirit, but you might say that's what a poltergeist is.
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  12. The Count Moderator

    Thanks, got that little quibble resolved. Ima using Paddywhack as Marvin Suggs's monstrification as nothing else materialized that made me satisfied with his casting. But if we're keeping Paddywhack strictly birdish, I could see Placido Flamingo in that role... But what options would I then have for Marvin... The Mad Gasser? The Executioner? Sweeny Todd? Anything else?
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  13. Slackbot Well-Known Member

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  14. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    For you music omnivores, here is a special chapter of...

    Masks
    Part 4: Rapsody
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    "It's The Muppet Show, with out special guest star, MC Frontalot!"

    The orchestra started playing the theme song, and the curtains opened to reveal the arches. The largest Muppets, most of the monsters, strutted onstage.

    Offstage, The Muppets were waiting in the wings for their part in the familiar routine. All except Scooter, who for the last half hour had been rushing about with a sheaf of paper under one arm, searching the theater house for draft scripts. Finally he dumped them on Kermit's desk and looked at the cover pages. He selected the one with the most recent date—late yesterday evening—and hustled up to the dressing rooms.

    He tapped on one door, then stuck his head in. "MC Frontalot? Here's the script."

    MC Frontalot accepted the script that Scooter held out. "Thanks. Did you finally get the copier fixed?"

    "Nope. That's the latest draft I could find. But don't worry, we don't stick to those things too closely anyway. Gotta go!" He darted out again, closing the door behind himself.

    Frontalot looked at the cover. Someone had written on the cover, "Cuts are good." Below it, in different handwriting, was the reply "More cuts would be better!"

    *

    Scooter flew down the stairs and just barely managed to hit his mark in the arches for the last lines of the theme song. The logo came down, and Gonzo raised an odd-looking wind instrument that ended in two pipes and began playing. A large, vicious-looking snake rose in front of him, then wrapped itself around him and dragged him out of sight.

    *

    The Muppets left the stage. Gonzo said to the snake, "Good work, Eva."

    "Don't mention it," she replied amiably. She uncoiled, releasing Gonzo, who quickly took off his purple jacket. His stunt costume was underneath. Camilla handed him his goggles.

    Beauregard was waiting in the wings with an industrial vacuum cleaner. Sam, still blackened on one side by toner, looked at it, then muttered, "Let's get this over with."

    They walked off to Sam's dressing room. Kermit glanced at Gonzo, who was fastening on his helmet. Gonzo gave him a quick thumbs-up, then went onto the stage. Kermit stepped out in front of the red curtains and said, "Hi ho, and welcome to our first televised episode of The Muppet Show since, er, the last one! This is going to be broadcast in at least two or three counties—I hope—so feel free to applaud as wildly as you want." He made a face, then looked offstage. "We can edit that out, right?"

    Janken, startled, nodded without speaking. Kermit said, "Good," then faced the audience again. "Tonight we have a special guest, MC Frontalot, who, of all the rappers in the world, is definitely one of them, or so his publicist claims. But first, to start the show off with a bang, we have The Great Gonzo!"

    The curtains opened as the trumpets played a brief fanfare. Gonzo stood on a stage that was bare except for himself, a cannon pointed at the balcony, a net behind the cannon, and one of the everpresent chickens. Behind him was a brick wall, undecorated except for a "NO SMOKING" warning in red paint. Over his stunt costume he wore a harness which trailed two long cords, one on each side, which were attached to either side of the net.

    Gonzo cried out, "Greetings, lovers of culture and mayhem! How many times have you been to 3-D movies and thought that the headaches and motion sickness just weren't enough?"

    As Gonzo went through his patter Kermit glanced at the net, then looked again. It wasn't the one he had used during rehearsal. It looked flimsy. In fact, Kermit could see from here that the frame was made of PVC pipe and the netting was a used tennis net. He went pale.

    Gonzo climbed up into the cannon muzzle. "I will fire myself up and into the audience's very airspace, then be pulled back onto the stage by these bungee cords, landing safely in this net! And now my lovely assistant will light the fuse!" He started to slide down into the cannon, then looked out into the audience and said, "Good luck."

    The fuse cord sparkled for several seconds. Then the cannon boomed, and Gonzo flew out, trailing the cords like the tail of a comet. They pulled taut, slowing him as he approached the balcony. For a moment he hung motionless, the forces perfectly balance. But he did not snap back, because his nose had neatly—and accidentally—hooked the handrail. Gonzo paused, surprised, then said in a slightly muffled voice, "Er, can somebody help me out here?"

    A helpful member of the audience unhooked him, with some difficulty on both sides as the bungee cords were very taut. When the task was accomplished Gonzo said, "Thanks!" Then he snapped back to the stage, into the net, through the net, and through the back wall, leaving a perfect Gonzo-shaped hole in the bricks. After a tense moment he looked back out, glanced around at the wreckage, then said "Oops."

    The curtains closed. Kermit went around the back of the stage. There, behind the breakaway section of a false back wall, was the real, much sturdier net, still intact. Gonzo was unhooking himself from the bungee cords. Kermit sighed with relief. "Gonzo! I thought for a moment there you'd finally gotten yourself killed."

    Gonzo grinned widely. "Gotcha!"

    "Yeesh." Kermit went back. Gonzo crossed to the other side of the stage. He asked Janken, "Did the camera get all that? Even the bit with the balcony?"

    Janken replied without looking away from the monitors, "Yes."

    "How'd it look? Can you play it back?"

    "Sorry, I can't do that now. I'm filming the stage. I can play it back after the show, though."

    "Oh, yeah, of course. Thanks," Gonzo said, and went off to change.

    *

    While that was going on, the cannon and net had been rushed off the stage and replaced by a long table with a podium in the center. Sam, whose feathers were once again blue, not to mentioned rumpled and slightly thinner on one side, was already seated at the left with Rowlf, and MC Frontalot was on the right with Animal. Kermit was standing at the center. When the curtains opened Kermit said, "Now it's time to raise the intellectual bar for of the show. With us are MC Frontalot, noted nerdcore hiphop rapper; Sam the Eagle, noted music critic; Rowlf, our control group; and Animal, who was sitting here when we started and we couldn't get him to move. Today's topic is the state of current music culture."

    Sam said firmly, "There is none."

    Rowlf asked, "How can you say that?"

    "Very easily. All the truly great music has already been written. Modern rock and roll and other such nonsense is mere noise!"

    "Like noise! Noise good!" Animal interjected enthusiastically.

    "I don't know about that," MC Frontalot said. "Culture is about how people live, the way they see the world, and that finds its way into music."

    "Nonsense! Culture is excellence in the arts!"

    Rowlf, who had opened a thick book on the table, said, "Actually, Sam, he's got you there. See here: 'The sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, and art, from one generation to the next.'"

    Sam looked at the book. "Where does it say that?"

    Rowlf pointed to the page. "Right here."

    Sam read, murmuring to himself as he scanned the page. Animal asked, "Oxford Unabridged?"

    "American Heritage," Rowlf answered.

    "Ahh." Animal nodded knowingly.

    Unwilling to concede defeat, Sam slapped the table with one hand and declared, "Be that as it may, you cannot deny that music today is trash. It is filled with vulgarity, disrespect for women, and other such naughtiness."

    "Actually, music can express anything the musician wants to say," Frontalot said.

    Sam turned to him. "And what, sir, do you have to say in your so-called hip-hops?"

    Calmly Frontalot replied, "I've done raps about gamer and online culture, educational and political issues, my life as a musician, Wagner's Die Walküre..."

    Sam said, "Whose what?"

    Interested, Rowlf said, "You wrote a rap about an opera? That's something I'd like to hear."

    "Is that a song cue?" Frontalot asked.

    The opening trumpets of Ride of the Valkyries began playing. Kermit answered, "I'd say that's a yes."

    Animal began beating on the podium with a pir of drumsticks, providing a beat. Frontlot took a microphone out from under the desk and stood. He began chanting,
    "I got invited to go see The Ring; I thought it
    Was probably a musical about hobbits."
    Bean Bunny hopped out onstage wearing a vaguely Vikinglike costume. He smiled cutely at the audience, then began scampering around.
    "Started out promisingly enough:
    Little fellow running 'round, there were trees and stuff,"
    Janice wandered onstage wearing a white, diaphanous robe. She looked about, confused. Then she and Bean stepped out of the way of a short sprinkle of water coming from the fly space.
    "And a shelter from a storm, and a girl it seems,
    Though the dialogue don't make no sense to me,"
    Link Hogthrob, also dressed as a Viking and wearing an eyepatch and a fake beard, appeared onstage and began to threaten Bean.
    "And her hubby come out, he look a little menacin',
    Says he gonna eat you like a little piece of venison.
    When it's um... morning I guess? I'm confused.
    Does the wife know the hero? There seems to be clues.
    There's a sword in a tree. Why's a tree in the house?
    Did she slip her man a mickey? How come Siggy don't get out?"
    Bean, Link, and Janice were trying to act out the narrative and not having much luck. Meanwhile, Beauregard had helpfully pushed in a tree on a rolling platform and nailed a cardboard sword onto it.
    "How come neither of 'em making for the hills right now?
    As for brothers loving sisters, isn't this disallowed?
    Isn't this kinda how bad fates come about?
    Ima need an intermission just to figure it out."
    Link, Janice, and Bean gathered into a huddle in the pause between the verses, trying to make sense of the story line. Then Frontalot continued,
    "Now here come poppa, he's the one-eyed jack.
    Brünnhilde is the daughter with the armor on her rack."
    Link quickly turned to face the audience when he heard his cue, and then Miss Piggy made her entrance, clad in Valkyrie armor. She posed for the audience. Then she heard her description, startled, and turned to glare at Frontalot.
    "Does he lack in discretion? He backs up quick.
    Daddy Wo don't ever seem to step to Ma Frick.
    She got him by the thick of the beard, she's insistent;
    But the subtitles flickered and I missed it."
    Link had snickered at Piggy's annoyance; she retaliated by pulling his fake beard, then letting it snap back, knocking him off the stage.
    "Odin doesn't get to get his son killing dragons?
    (Still sounds like a job for the elder Baggins.)
    He can't even incite his daughter to fix fights?
    I'm about to go to sleep in my seat, all right?"
    Bean and Janice were standing back now, watching Piggy and Link fight—or, rather, Link cower from Piggy's threats. Behind Frontalot, Rowlf and Kermit began placing bets as Sam watched, aghast. The song continued,
    "'Cause the music's gettin' stupid, it don't got no beats
    And that's the twenty-second time I heard the leitmotif
    And I cite no grief but opera ain't for me;
    It's for the kinda people, yo, who who listen to the CBC
    And sip on tea, and read up on the paper.
    Another intermission coming; Ima be the great escaper."
    Sam tried to sneak offstage, but Scooter blocked his path. Reluctantly the eagle returned to his spot at the table. In an attitude of frustration, he leaned his head in one hand.
    "Sneaking out the lobby, got ushed by an usher.
    Showed me to my row and reminded me to hush up.
    I settled in, waiting for the boredom to commence,
    Definitely unprepared for what come next."
    The stage began to shake. Bean, Piggy, Janice, and Link looked around in alarm.
    When the strings set in and the horns come chasing
    It's kind of like I just got rewarded for my patience.
    This is more like it. This I could keep:
    Ladies in helmets who ride eight deep."
    With a great noise, a pair of cows galloped onto the stage, each bearing four chickens or penguins, galloped onstage. The birds were wearing horned helmets with blonde yarn braids attached to the back, and so were the cows.
    "Grooving down in my seat, I'm rocking 'n' squirming.
    Even almost got over the fact that they're talking German.
    I'm learning I might even have to come back.
    Wonder if they sell a ticket for just the third act?"
    Frontalot struggled keep a straight face as the penguins and chickens waged war against those who did not have the good fortune to have a table to hide behind. Rowlf and Kermit were watching with great interest. Animal looked as if he would have jumped into the fray if he hadn't been occupied by percussion. Sam watched silently, having given up a verse earlier.
    "Asked on the way out, did I follow? I say, 'Sort of,
    And I gotta say I'm glad it weren't the Rings that there's a lord of.
    Saw a lot of similarities but I'm pretty sure
    That this was an adaptation of Star Wars.'"
    As the music faded, Rowlf asked, "Star wars? You sure about that?"

    Frontalot shrugged and answered, "Yeah, you know, the twins and everything. I'll probably look it up on the Internet just to be sure."

    *

    The curtains closed. The Muppets exited the stage, led by Bean Bunny, who was pursued by hoofed and feathered valkyries clucking and quacking "Kill de wabbit, kill de wabbit!"

    When the stampede had passed, Frontalot asked Scooter, "Did they plan all that?"

    Reasonably Scooter answered, "Of course. We had to get the chickens and penguins helmets."

    "Oh. Good point," Frontalot said.

    Kermit went onstage to introduce the next act. Frontalot went back to flipping through his draft script. Sam went to his dressing room for a lie down.

    *****

    All characters except Janken are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC. MC Frontalot (AKA Damian Hess) is a real person and thus would be copyright © himself. He also holds the copyright on Rhyme of the Nibelung. His website is http://frontalot.com/ and you should totally visit it and download lots of his music, including Rhyme of the Nibelung. All copyrighted properties (and real people) are used without permission but with much respect and affection. The overall story is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
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  15. The Count Moderator

    Great chapter...

    Eva the Snake, is her name a nod to the movie Igor?
    Is she a normal snake or is she meant to have a slightly Fracklish face/fanged grin?

    Yeah, I can def see Gonzo's nose hooking onto the balcony handrail. This act reminds me of when he almost got Garth Brooks to do a similar bunjee jump/launch on Muppets Tonight.

    You brought back the Talk Panel... Nice fan-nugget nod to the classic Season 1 TMS.

    The funniest thing to me is picturing Animal in that voice of his asking Rowlf, "Oxford Dictionary?"

    The entire depiction of MC Frontalot's Ride of the Valkyries was hilarious. But the best line is at the very end. Kill the wabbit indeed. Maybe those chickens and penguins and cows were armed with spears and magic helmets?
    :rolleyes: Spear and magic helmet.
    Yes, spear and magic helmet, and I'll give you a sample!

    Thanks. More please.
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  16. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen Igor; I just wanted to give her a nice friendly name, and, well, Eve struck me as weirdly appropriate. She's just a regular snake; possible a Speckled Band serpent.

    Heh, Animal does have his lucid moments. One of my favorite is "RENOIR! RENOIR!" (Me, I prefer the dadaists and surrealists to impressionists. Guess Animal and I won't be carpooling to the museum any time soon.) BTW, that was Sam's dictionary. But you might have guessed that already.

    Yes, the attack on Bean Bunny was a direct reference to What's Opera, Doc? In fact, that's the reason I cast Bean in there. Bunny abuse is always worth a larf.
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  17. The Count Moderator

    Yes... It's such a shame that that particular version of Happiness Hotel has been cast over for the Monet Exhibit version on MCR. But at least I have it in my MUP3 albums.
    Look forward to the next chapter.
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  18. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Er, what?
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  19. The Count Moderator

    MCR = Muppet Central Radio.
    Zoot: "Oh, he's just upset about missing the Monet Exhibit at the National Gallery."
    *Instrumental.

    Hope that explains things better. :halo:
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  20. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Yo, dog, Ima lay down a fresh chapter of...

    Masks, Part 5:
    Backstage Front
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    The curtain opened on Act 2. Except that Fozzie was doing a monologue in front of the curtains, so they weren't actually open. The set for the next number was elaborate, a garden with a swing and stream, and they had been setting it up during intermission. It was nearly ready now, but not quite; Sweetums and Thog were still putting the swing together. All the Muppets for that number—Miss Piggy and a large collection of frogs—were waiting offstage.

    Fozzie started his monologue energetically. "Heya heya heya! This isn't actually the first time we've had a rapper on The Muppet Show. In fact, I'm a rapper. Every Christmas, I wrap presents! Aaaa!" He waited for laughter, what he got was silence and an uncomfortable cough. "Y'see, because 'rap' and 'wrap' sound alike, and..."

    Statler called out, "Don't bother explaining. We got the joke."

    Waldorf added, "We just didn't want it!"

    Fozzie glanced over to the side. Kermit looked at the stage behind the curtains—the swing was still not ready—then glanced over at Miss Piggy. She was glaring silently at the monsters struggling with the scenery. He gestured to Fozzie as if stretching something between his hands: draw it out, we have time to fill.

    Fozzie gulped and continued. It was a bad night for him; even Statler and Waldorf seemed bored by his act, needling him less than usual. Kermit looked behind the curtain again. The swing was nearly set up. He caught Thog's eye and drew rapid circles in the air, the signal to hurry it up. Having gotten Kermit's message, and also having noticed Miss Piggy's irritation, Thog nodded.

    Onstage, the situation was getting desperate. Kermit decided to take pity on Fozzie. He took out the bear rescue kit and filled two foil pie plates with whipped cream. Then he marched out onstage and said, "Fozzie, what are you doing? This act is terrible!"

    That stung, but the bear knew it was true. "I know! I'm doing my part, telling jokes! Don't they know they're supposed to laugh?" he said, gesturing at the audience.

    Statler shouted, "Hey, would you hold it down? We just got to sleep!"

    Theatrically Kermit declared, "Fozzie, this monologue is a disgrace to The Muppet Show. I challenge you to a duel. Pies at five paces."

    Fozzie straightened. "I accept your challenge!" He swatted Kermit's face with one end of his tie. Kermit scowled at him, then turned away.

    The audience watched as the two stood back-to-back, each holding a pie in one hand. In the orchestra pit, Animal started a low drumroll. They counted five paces, then turned. Kermit threw his pie. It missed, and hit Rowlf's piano instead. The dog ducked, so only a bit of the cream splattered him.

    The audience laughed. Fozzie, startled, looked around. He drew back as if to throw the pie at Kermit, then wilted visibly. "I can't do it. I just can't. Kermit, you're right, I'm the worst comedian that's ever been! There's only one thing I can do to save my honor!" He faced the audience, paused dramatically, and then splatted the pie into his own face with both hands.

    The audience laughed. Kermit heard Sweetums, who was just behind the curtain, say, "We're ready!"

    Good timing, Kermit thought; he didn't know how much further he could have stretched this. He flailed his arms and yelled, "Out! Out! Get off the stage!" Fozzie, whose face was covered with a pie plate, panicked and dashed into the curtain. It opened, sweeping him off into the wings. Kermit hustled offstage after him.

    Backstage, Kermit said to Fozzie, "You all right? I was going to let you win."

    "You were? I thought you missed for real." The bear wiped cream off of his eyes. Apologetically he said, "Thanks for helping me out. I'll do better tomorrow."

    Kermit patted his back and said, "I know." Well, he knew that Fozzie would try, and he couldn't ask for more than that. As Fozzie went off to wash up Kermit looked at the stage.

    The musical intro to Piggy's song was just finishing. The stage looked like a garden overgrown with ivy. Frogs were scattered about in the foliage and the stream, and one was perched atop the frame of the swing. Miss Piggy, dressed in a white, frilly, old-fashioned and carrying a lace parasol, stepped onstage and began singing:
    "On a magic night
    When the way you feel
    Is a mystery,
    It will be revealed.
    Could be an angel
    From up above
    With a flower from the garden,
    The garden of love."
    She plucked a rose from the bush, closed her eyes, and sniffed it as the frogs echoed her last line.

    **

    Piggy's song went off exactly as rehearsed, which was no surprise. The act itself was simple; the tricky part was the scenery. On the other side of the theater, Scooter was watching over Janken's shoulder as he operated the cameras. Several still cameras captured the entire stage from different angles, so Janken only needed to follow her with one. Scooter said in a low voice, "Looks good."

    Not glancing away, Janken said, "It helps that she knows how to play to the camera."

    "She sure does." He squeezed Janken's shoulder, then went off again.

    Janken watched Miss Piggy. He knew every move, gesture, and expression by heart; she had rehearsed the living daylights out of this song. If she was always like this, it would make his job easier.

    **

    MC Frontalot stepped out of his dressing room. When he looked over the railing he saw a gaggle, or herd, or flock of colorful, furry, and feathery creatures waiting in the wings. Scooter appeared out of nowhere and asked, "Are you ready for your number? I hope you don't mind the edits to your songs."

    Frontalot answered, "Yeah. It's fine, I expected we'd have to tweak a few words."

    "Great. We've got the Koozebanian Acrobatic League—that's them down there—then Muppet Labs, and then you're on." Scooter vanished again.

    The curtains closed as Miss Piggy's act finished. The stagehands and larger Muppets rushed onstage to replace that set with another. Meanwhile the acrobats went onstage and began their act to the tune of the Sabre Dance. They bounded, fluttered, and otherwise moved about in bewildering formation, making patterns with their various shapes and colors.

    Frontalot went downstairs. Rowlf was hanging around backstage. The dog said, "Hey. How's it going?"

    "Hi. It's... wow. This is something. I've never done a show like this, especially from a draft script."

    "I know, I know, it's weird for us too. Usually we don't have scripts at all," Rowlf told him.

    Skeptically Frontalot asked, "You're kidding, right?"

    The dog laughed. "Yeah, I'm kidding. But we do ad-lib a lot. Keeps us on our toes. Say, in the panel you said you had songs about all sorts of things. What other stuff have you rapped about?"

    Frontalot said, "A little of everything, really. Let's see, I did a theme song for a webcomic, songs about how obscure I am—back when I was even more obscure than I am now—and how nobody could remember my name... I've had a lot of fun writing songs for Song Fight."

    "Song fight? Yeah, Dr. Teeth and I got into one of those last year," Rowlf said, nodding.

    Frontalot explained, "Actually, it's an online competition for song writers. They post a title and a deadline on the website, and people enter songs written around the title."

    "Huh," Rowlf said, interested. "What kind of titles do they give out?"

    "Off the top of my head, Livin' At The Corner Of Dude & Catastrophe, Romantic Cheapskate, Floating Bridge, Yellow Lasers, Fresh Dog-"

    "Fresh dog?" Rowlf said worriedly. "Do I want to ask?"

    Frontalot explained, "It's not like that. I wrote about my pet and how awesome he is."

    "Oh, that's okay. Some of my best friends are pets," Rowlf said, relieved. "I never thought someone would write a rap about us dogs. I'd like to hear it."

    Frontalot said, "Right now?"

    "Why not? There's time."

    "In that case, sure." Frontalot glanced around, then tapped on the desk with one hand for a beat. He began,
    "Yo, I got a little dog, the doggy's name is Doggy Fresh,
    And out of every single dog I've ever met, he's the best.
    And the rest of the dogs in the world, I wouldn't own 'em,
    Several other Muppets noticed the impromptu performance and came over to listen in. Frontalot continued,
    "Yo my moms tried to clone him—I got sewn in
    His skin a little microchip
    So he could be a cyborg, wanna get him equipped
    With a GPS and the 802.11b
    So he could hit me up on IRC when he gotta go out and pee
    And not just stand by the door and whine.
    Wish he'd grow an opposable thumb sometimes."
    Rowlf held up a hand and wiggled his thumb. "Yeah, they come in handy."

    Frontalot continued,
    "Yo, but I don't mind it, gets me up and about
    It's good to walk around the block, remind the dog he ain't allowed
    To eat no street chicken, and chase no squirrels,
    Just to keep on kicking with a tail that curls,
    Just to keep on fancy stepping with the ears that flop,
    Just to rock, yes, Doggy Fresh, you don't stop!"
    The other Muppets laughed as Frontalot chanted "Who's a good boy?" repeatedly. Rowlf, getting into the act, panted as if begging, then tossed his head, flopping his ears. Front mimed tossing him a treat, which Rowlf caught with one hand. The other Muppets, both in the wings and up on the second floor balcony, were grooving along with the song.
    "I got a little dog, the doggy's name is Doggy Fresh,
    And he be crazy charismatic like David Koresh.
    You can try to stay miffed about the fur on your clothes
    But look out, you 'bout to giggle when he lick on your nose."
    "I'm not taking this act that far," Rowlf said.
    "And he don't like baths, and he barks at intruders,
    He be begging where the food is like his owner was the cruelest
    Non-dog-food-purchasing dog owner ever.
    He occasionally ekes out a treat through this endeavor,
    But you got to forgive him with his big brown eyes.
    You got to go on to admit my dog's incredibly fly.
    He 'bout as fierce as a wolf, 'bout as big as a fox,
    If he drops one beat I'ma knock 'em out the box.
    Yo your cat's name may be Maceo,
    But my dog is Doggy Fresh and Doggy Fresh is good to go!"
    Frontalot tapped the final beats on the desk, then finished. The other Muppets laughed appreciatively. Rowlf said, "I can dig that. Of course, we dogs are good at digging."

    Frontalot said, "Glad you liked it. I never expected to perform it for a talking dog."

    "Oh, we all talk. It's a little harder to understand if you're not another dog, though. Woof."

    The conversation was cut short when the colorful creatures finished flinging themselves about onstage and came backstage again. Scooter called, "Muppet Labs!" Bunsen and Beaker went onstage. As Kermit introduced them, Rowlf said in a low voice, "You know we've got a camera back here too, don't you?"

    Frontalot looked around. "No, I didn't. Where?"

    Rowlf pointed. "Just in case anything interesting happens back here. Like that." He waved to the camera.

    After a beat, Frontalot waved too. "Hi, Mom."

    *****

    You can download Fresh Dog for free from MC Frontalot's website. Go get it, it's cool. And you might also check out Song Fight's website, which is also cool.

    *****

    All characters except Janken are copyright © The Muppets Studio, LLC. MC Frontalot (AKA Damian Hess) is a real person and thus would be copyright © himself. He also holds the copyright on Fresh Dog. His website is http://frontalot.com/ and you should totally visit it and download lots of his music. The song The Garden of Love is copyright © WingNut Films. All copyrighted properties (and real people) are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Janken and the overall story are copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
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